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  1. #26
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    Of course you can ride the Tour without doping: http://www.theonion.com/articles/non...e-france,2268/

    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  2. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post
    .... The human body can do incredible things.
    It can, but there's a cost. I read a story a year or two about elite endurance athletes (mainly runners) who had health problems or even died at relatively young ages, 30s and 40s. Pro football players have far shorter lifespans than average and tend to have neurological problems, including depression and mood swings. I was in an elite unit in the military, with very difficult training. Nine of the 11 people I've kept in touch with have orthopedic and/or cardio issues, and two have committed suicide.
    What's this have to do with cycling? Nothing specifically, but it may illustrate that being super fit when you're 27 isn't a guarantee of good health later.
    As for PEDs, a neighbor of mine used to be a pro sports agent, mainly NFL players. He believes virtually all top-rank athletes use them. The difference between almost good enough and pro caliber is small, and the potential rewards are huge.

  3. #28
    Senior Member oldbobcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
    That's kind of my point. Doping goes back 100 years. These huge events have always been insanely difficult. Even guys back then had to rely on PEDs to compete. The sport is absolutely rife with PEDs...something is going to have to change. I don't think stricter rules is going to fix it. I just don't think you can expect a person to do what they do...and do it naturally.
    Yeah, but the doping done before the 1990s was small-time compared to contemporary blood-boosting. Also, the substances used were intended strictly for enhancing the performance at hand. After doping, the athlete's recovery usually suffered. Before WW2 it was about caffeine, cocaine, and other recreational stimulants. War research brought us amphetamines and barbituates, which became popular in the 50s and 60. The side effects of these drugs was often debilitating, and it was still possible for clean riders to win on ability alone.

    The 70s introduced steroids and blood transfusions, the 90s EPO, and the 00s medically managed programs that combined steroids, EPO, and transfusions. These programs met two objectives, enhancing performance and recovery.

    Tours de France have also been shortened considerably since the 1970s. Also the rules on accepting aid have been slackened immensely This was done to benefit the riders' health and encourage more aggressive riding.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
    Of course you can ride the Tour without doping: http://www.theonion.com/articles/non...e-france,2268/

    is this article for REAL?

  5. #30
    powered by Racer Ex gsteinb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    It can, but there's a cost. I read a story a year or two about elite endurance athletes (mainly runners) who had health problems or even died at relatively young ages, 30s and 40s. Pro football players have far shorter lifespans than average and tend to have neurological problems, including depression and mood swings. I was in an elite unit in the military, with very difficult training. Nine of the 11 people I've kept in touch with have orthopedic and/or cardio issues, and two have committed suicide.
    What's this have to do with cycling? Nothing specifically, but it may illustrate that being super fit when you're 27 isn't a guarantee of good health later.
    As for PEDs, a neighbor of mine used to be a pro sports agent, mainly NFL players. He believes virtually all top-rank athletes use them. The difference between almost good enough and pro caliber is small, and the potential rewards are huge.
    People climb mountains and die. The best athletes aren't healthy now, never mind later. Health and athletic success are not the same things. It's a misunderstanding to think they are.

    My buddy's sister is a good example. She writes and sends me all sorts of health and fitness stuff. 'This study says if you do this,' 'or if you go gluten free' it'll help your health. Trying to explain to her that my goal was to be as fast as possible for as long as possible, and then spend the rest of my life living on pork rinds and pie kinda went over her head.

  6. #31
    Upgrading my engine DXchulo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    It can be done clean. It just needs to be done slower.
    +1 on this. They aren't doping because they can't finish the race without drugs. They're doping because they want to win, lead out their sprinter, be there for their GC guy on the final climb, or whatever it is that gets them their paycheck. I've never used PEDs, but I would assume that it goes back to the old LeMond quote. "It doesn't get any easier. You just go faster."

    You can shorten the race as much as you want, but guys will still dope because they want to win. Go all the way down to track sprinting and PEDs will still be there.
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  7. #32
    Velo Club La Grange Cat4Lifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    It can be done clean. It just [will] be done slower.
    Pretty much.

  8. #33
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    I think there are some significant environmental factors that encourage cyclists to take PEDs.

    Professional cycling is phenomenally hard. It ranks 10/10 on endurance requirement, and the next sports are cross country skiing and professional boxing, which are 8/10. International rowing is 7/10, distance swimming and running events are 6/10, along with amateur cycling. Other sports dribble in around 5 to 4. Because it is so hard, newcomers risk getting fatigued easily, so there is an incentive to take PEDs just so you can recover.

    Then there are short-term contracts. Have an average year and chances are you are out of a job. Domestiques are lucky if they get 2 year contracts. And under the current system you are only worthwhile to a team if you score points. You could be the greatest domestique that never finishes because you guarantee your leader will get a top 10 finish every time, but guess what? You've got no points so you cannot contribute to your teams points total. Plus you are worthless to any other teams. Believe me, if anyone else had the threat of being fired hanging over them as much as in cycling, everyone would be on Ritalin or some other drug to make them perform better at work.

    I think it's really easy for people on this forum to type away saying that professional cyclists are all evil dopers. Occasionally that may be true. But few stop to think of the industry dynamics. There is no job security and with more and more racing, not enough time for recovery (unless your name is Boonen or similar status, then you get holidays from races to allow you to recover). These guys need to ride (very) well just to put food on the table for their family. And if I was a professional cyclist in these circumstances, worrying about how I'm going to guarantee a good life for my children, believe me that PEDs would be a seriously considered option. Chances are you would too.

    If people really want drugs out of cycling, then yes, the degree of difficulty needs to be addressed, either through bigger teams or maximum races a year (to allow adequate recovery). But also a fundamental restructuring of how cyclists are employed and valued needs to be undertaken, not just by the UCI but by the teams as well.
    Last edited by Gordy748; 01-17-13 at 11:32 AM. Reason: Hit reply button too soon

  9. #34
    Beer >> Sanity bikerjp's Avatar
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    Too arduous? No. Not for a pro. If it was they would be dropping like flies and wouldn't be finishing. Yes, some drop out but usually because they had shorter goals such as preparing for something else or just doing sprint stages or got injured or sick. The don't/didn't use PEDs in order to finish. Given enough time most of us could probably finish it as well. They used PEDs to finish it faster or to help maintain a certain pace or to help recover faster. I find it interesting, however, that the riders off seem off their mark the day after a rest day. Basically, they used PEDs for an edge over the competition or erase the edge someone else was getting.
    Climbs like a stone, descends like two...

  10. #35
    Beer >> Sanity bikerjp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byhsu View Post
    is this article for REAL?
    Of course. The Onion is on par with the New York Times, Washington Post, etc.
    Climbs like a stone, descends like two...

  11. #36
    Velo Club La Grange Cat4Lifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
    Of course. The Onion is on par with the New York Times, Washington Post, etc.

  12. #37
    Annoyed. Andy Somnifac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjp View Post
    Of course. The Onion is on par with the New York Times, Washington Post, etc.
    Why would you doubt them? They are the epitome of journalistic excellence.
    Meh.

  13. #38
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
    It can be done clean. It just needs to be done slower.
    Quote Originally Posted by Gluteus View Post
    I was a spectator at the Tour of Utah last year. The first stage was about 125 miles, with >95 degrees heat and 9,000 feet elevation gain. It was hard just to wait by the finish line to watch. And it was just the first day!

    PEDs have been part of the sport for a very long time (1903, at the beginning of The Tour de France) among other reasons, because it's so ridiculously hard.
    I road the US Pro Challenge course this year, with most days like the day you decribe in the Tour of Utah.

    There's no way you need PED's to finish races like that.

    Finishing them at the speed the Pro'd did in the EPO era is another issue.
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  14. #39
    One legged rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by DXchulo View Post
    +1 on this. They aren't doping because they can't finish the race without drugs. They're doping because they want to win, lead out their sprinter, be there for their GC guy on the final climb, or whatever it is that gets them their paycheck. I've never used PEDs, but I would assume that it goes back to the old LeMond quote. "It doesn't get any easier. You just go faster."

    You can shorten the race as much as you want, but guys will still dope because they want to win. Go all the way down to track sprinting and PEDs will still be there.
    of course. 100+ miles a day for weeks on end isn't all that tough. Recreational bike tourists with beer guts do it routinely.

  15. #40
    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
    Human beings aren't designed to ride bicycles at top speed over mountains, 120+ miles per day for weeks on end. A single day event lasts longer than any other sporting event. A football game lasts about 3 hours with all kinds of breaks. A marathon is done in about 2 hours. Maybe an Ironman Triathlon comes close...but those guys don't do those 10 days in a row.
    crap... and ... The Iron Man is a good test - a full Tri is a major test. Short course Tri's are good everyman one day events... Yeah Pro football is a joke, 10 secs of effort and then 2+ minutes of time off for commercials/breaks/ whatever...

    Quote Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
    I think professional cycling is entirely too arduous. No other sport even comes close. I mean, 5 hours a day of constant racing for two to three weeks? Imagine the NFL scheduling three or four games a week. What if the NBA schedule had series that lasted 15 consecutive days? It wouldn't take much more than a few days before players started dropping like flies.
    Yes many sports are now spectacles, and less than they were some many years back. 15 basketball games in 15 days, WHY Not? 15 hockey matches in 15 days, why Not? same for football. Being a little less chipper after a day or so, you might have to really dig down a little deeper and find the stuff you;re really made of. The later games might not be real pretty - but then I remember football in the late 50's and 60's - it wasn't a pretty game, especially when it was cold and wet.

    Quote Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
    What if cycling races were shorter? Maybe 40-50 miles a day with days off in between for rest.
    OMG, it really needs a racing perspective. Most Cat 4,3 road races (not crits) are al least 50 - 70 miles, cat 1,2 and many 3 are usually at least 70 to over 100 and most state champ races are over 100 mi. As a younger man, I and everyone I raced with did these races, often 2x a week, then we went out for beers and dinner and called it a fun day. I believe todays' young Cat 1,2,3s also do the same.
    Have you ever been at a Pro race? You'll see these guys, 100 miles in, just rocketing up uphill sections in a big ring, while we struggle to make it over...
    They absolutely need the big miles and big hills and tough courses to make any separation, otherwise every event ends in a Mass sprint - THAT would not be fair.


    Quote Originally Posted by pgjackson View Post
    Thoughts?
    The Pro races have evolved over many decades, and in some cases over a century, of competition. Riders have died, but not that many. Most make it through. Racing is about pride, suffering and overcoming your own limitations - same as we do when we do rides and events which challenge our own limits.
    Racing was one of the most excellent things I've done, and I feel stronger and more capable for having done it. I would not take that away from the current generation.

    PEDS - there is NO pro sport (and many amateur that I can think of) in which PEDS are not pervasive, none.
    The handwringing for the past decade is now soooo very tiring - we need to get past that.
    There needs to be strong, clear direction - PEDS ok, then let it be... NO PEDS, then we continue to crack down and make sure it's as clean as we can make it. I'm OK with either.

    Pro, Amateur racing is not too arduous. If anything I think the Women and Juniors need a little bit tougher tests - they've become much stronger as a group and need a bit stronger test.

    there is no place for coddling or handwringing in cycling

    EDIT: But I do think that rider/team radios have taken away from the sport. Too much choreographed riding, penalizing the rider who is willing to dare, to take a chance. I truly believe that riders like Merckx could not have done what they did, in the era of rider radios. The UCI needs to stop the insanity now - BAN Race Radios!
    Last edited by cyclezen; 01-17-13 at 11:13 PM.
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  16. #41
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by byhsu View Post
    is this article for REAL?
    No. It's the Onion.
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  17. #42
    Senior Member brianmcg123's Avatar
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    Baseball isn't very arduous and they are all on steroids too. How do you explain that?
    Everyone's a roadie, they just might not know it yet.

  18. #43
    Senior Member mprelaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by X-LinkedRider View Post
    No. It's the Onion.

  19. #44
    Senior Member pgjackson's Avatar
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    "For as long as the Tour has existed, since 1903, its participants have been doping themselves. No dope, no hope. The Tour, in fact, is only possible because - not despite the fact - there is doping. For 60 years this was allowed. For the past 30 years it has been officially prohibited. Yet the fact remains; great cyclists have been doping themselves, then as now."
    "These are questions for wise men with skinny arms." - Khal Drogo
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  20. #45
    Flying Under the Radar X-LinkedRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by benajah View Post
    of course. 100+ miles a day for weeks on end isn't all that tough. Recreational bike tourists with beer guts do it routinely.
    Also very true. Before I ever rode road bikes, i toured and for months /weeks on end. Granted it was not at race speeds, but we were carrying a lot of ****.
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  21. #46
    pan y agua merlinextraligh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    Argh, I hate that assertion. There's no EVIDENCE to support it.

    .
    1) Tell me how many players, not proven to have used Steroids, have hit more than 62 home runs in a season? and how many using steroids have?

    2) Ask Sosa, Bonds, Mcguire, Conseco etc. whether they think steroids help them hit home runs. Do you think these people took drugs illegally, at significant personal expense, knowing the significant threat they posed to their health, their popularity, their endorsement money, future in baseball, and future Hall of Fame eligibility without those drugs providning a performance advantage?
    You could fall off a cliff and die.
    You could get lost and die.
    You could hit a tree and die.
    OR YOU COULD STAY HOME AND FALL OFF THE COUCH AND DIE.

  22. #47
    Velo Club La Grange Cat4Lifer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldbobcat View Post
    Yeah, but the doping done before the 1990s was small-time compared to contemporary blood-boosting. Also, the substances used were intended strictly for enhancing the performance at hand. After doping, the athlete's recovery usually suffered. Before WW2 it was about caffeine, cocaine, and other recreational stimulants. War research brought us amphetamines and barbituates, which became popular in the 50s and 60. The side effects of these drugs was often debilitating, and it was still possible for clean riders to win on ability alone.

    The 70s introduced steroids and blood transfusions, the 90s EPO, and the 00s medically managed programs that combined steroids, EPO, and transfusions. These programs met two objectives, enhancing performance and recovery.

    Tours de France have also been shortened considerably since the 1970s. Also the rules on accepting aid have been slackened immensely This was done to benefit the riders' health and encourage more aggressive riding.
    1/22/13 Michele Ferrari:

    TESTOSTERONE and ANABOLIC STEROIDS have been available from the 50's and 60's, and it is very likely that athletes have made wide use of those, but tests for the probable intake of exogenous testosterone were approved only in 1986, while specific tests for the numerous anabolic drugs were developed as new molecules were coming on the market. I asked a Grand Champion of the 70's which drugs were used in his time. "Amphetamines, cortisone" he said. "Decadurabolin, durabolin, sustanon?" I added. "Ah yes, those too..." (he had not even considered them as doping...)...

    The first scientific publication on the effects of blood TRANSFUSIONS over aerobic performance dates back some 67 years ago! (Science 1945, 102:589-591). It's very likely that endurance athletes have used it since the 60's, though only a decade later we had contextual certainty.

  23. #48
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gordy748 View Post
    I think there are some significant environmental factors that encourage cyclists to take PEDs.

    Professional cycling is phenomenally hard. It ranks 10/10 on endurance requirement, and the next sports are cross country skiing and professional boxing, which are 8/10. International rowing is 7/10, distance swimming and running events are 6/10, along with amateur cycling. Other sports dribble in around 5 to 4. Because it is so hard, newcomers risk getting fatigued easily, so there is an incentive to take PEDs just so you can recover.

    Then there are short-term contracts. Have an average year and chances are you are out of a job. Domestiques are lucky if they get 2 year contracts. And under the current system you are only worthwhile to a team if you score points. You could be the greatest domestique that never finishes because you guarantee your leader will get a top 10 finish every time, but guess what? You've got no points so you cannot contribute to your teams points total. Plus you are worthless to any other teams. Believe me, if anyone else had the threat of being fired hanging over them as much as in cycling, everyone would be on Ritalin or some other drug to make them perform better at work.

    I think it's really easy for people on this forum to type away saying that professional cyclists are all evil dopers. Occasionally that may be true. But few stop to think of the industry dynamics. There is no job security and with more and more racing, not enough time for recovery (unless your name is Boonen or similar status, then you get holidays from races to allow you to recover). These guys need to ride (very) well just to put food on the table for their family. And if I was a professional cyclist in these circumstances, worrying about how I'm going to guarantee a good life for my children, believe me that PEDs would be a seriously considered option. Chances are you would too.

    If people really want drugs out of cycling, then yes, the degree of difficulty needs to be addressed, either through bigger teams or maximum races a year (to allow adequate recovery). But also a fundamental restructuring of how cyclists are employed and valued needs to be undertaken, not just by the UCI but by the teams as well.
    Bolding mine.

    Source?

    Come one guys we all know that in the Major Tours they are NOT going anywhere near all out for most of the stage. Anyone who has even ridden at the fast purely recreational level know just how much drafting makes a difference. Any mass start stage has a lot of riding at a pace that may be fast for us, but is just a 'brisk jog' for a professional rider.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  24. #49
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    Did you miss the Ravens-Broncos game this weekend?

    Pro baseball teams will play almost every day from March to September.

    Football players don't compete every day, but they do train almost every day.

    Granted these aren't endurance sports, but there's no doubt that they are extremely demanding.



    ...and none of those guys do it because the game is "too hard." They do it to gain an advantage.

    And again, there's plenty of insane endurance events that don't require PED's. Badwater Marathon, RAAM, Ironman tri's, running stage races come to mind.

    These guys aren't doping to finish. They're doping because they believe it gives them an edge.
    I would not say the Football Pros practice almost every day. No team I know of practices on Monday. And often not tuesday either.

    BUT that is because the players are so beat up after each game that they can't really function until at least one and often several days to recover.

    (Should we tell some of the posters here jsut what pro cyclists do on a rest day during a tour? I'm betting many have no idea).
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

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    The person that should have the perfect answer is andy Schleck.

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